This page consists of
part of our original combined page of
both care instructions (this page) and material information (click to jump to the other page).
Care Instructions for ORGANIC LLC Products/Natural Materials
Use of Organic LLC jewelry in particular, and natural materials in general, is at your own risk. Remember, natural materials are not meant to be worn in unhealed tissue (this includes both initial piercings and new stretches), and might not be an appropriate choice for sensitive individuals or moist areas of the body. Irritation, swelling, tissue loss, infection, or allergic reactions can be a result. Organic LLC accepts no liability in connection with the use or misuse of our products, nor do we make any claim about the suitability of our products for any particular piercing, usage, or application. Know your own body, and respond appropriately to how it reacts to a new material.
Handle natural materials with clean hands or with gloves only. All jewelry is shipped non-sterile.
Natural materials MUST be washed before use with water and a mild, non-chemical soap (Dr. Bronner's liquid soap is suggested). They should be cleaned periodically, even if not being worn-this includes sitting around in a display case. If something stronger is desired, a small amount of tea tree oil may be used (perform a patch test first to ensure there is no allergy to this). Tea tree oil may cause materials to dry or crack.
Oil periodically and prior to use with jojoba, olive, peanut, mineral, or Vitamin E oil. Food grade oils may break down with heat and time, so wash natural materials often and reapply oil if necessary. Frequent applications of oil (as well as natural skin oils) and oxidation may cause the material to darken.
Natural materials are sensitive to changes in heat and humidity. Thus, autoclaving, use in saunas, or long exposure to direct sunlight (such as on a windowsill, in a display case, or inside a hot car), or extremely cold temperatures are not recommended; these circumstances may cause the material to check (form micro-cracks), crack, warp, or split. Dramatic temperature or humidity changes (including going from an air conditioned environment to the outside air, or from heating to cool air/snow) should be avoided or approached with caution when wearing natural materials, as well as the use of hottubs and blow dryers. Customers have found that placing one or more cups of water in display cases may be effective at maintaining a more consistent humidity level. Insulation is also helpful (wear hats in cold weather!), as is keeping the jewelry well oiled; this may help to protect against rapid changes of moisture levels.
Natural materials may react to, or absorb, chemicals. These chemicals can then be released into the skin, causing irritation, tissue loss, toxic or allergic reactions. Chemicals may include, but are not limited to: cleaning and sterilizing agents, soaps, lotions, antibiotic ointments, hair products, and chlorine from pools. Please keep natural materials away from contact with chemicals of any kind, and become aware of what types of chemicals are in the products that you use for any reason.
Amber is particularly sensitive and may soften, craze, crack, fracture, lose luster, or even burn in contact with certain chemicals or with extreme heat.
Direct prolonged exposure to UV light (sunlight), and possibly also fluorescent light, can be damaging to amber. The surface of amber may darken with age due to oxidation.
Fossilized mammoth ivory is particularly sensitive to changes in heat and humidity, and should be oiled as soon as it is received. Extra care should be taken to protect items made from mammoth ivory from these shifts, and should not be worn while bathing. Oil often!
Inlays, overlays, and paint are not water proof. Special caution should be taken when exposing plugs decorated as such to moisture. While our products are selected to be fully functional in everyday life, including cleaning, bathing, and swimming, go easy on those with inlays or a combination of materials.
Certain metal jewelry may cause reactions in sensitive individuals, which may include nickel allergies, or discoloration of the skin. Silver jewelry may tarnish, and metals containing copper (including bronze) may develop a greenish patina. This may be removed with a hand polishing cloth or with a buffing wheel. Tightly wrapping all-cotton thread or yarn around the area of metal being worn will keep the skin out of contact with the metal, as well as increase diameter of the wearing surface of a weight being worn, which may help to distribute the pressure more proportionally.
Natural materials can be brittle (especially stone and amber) and may not take too kindly to being dropped, bitten (as with oral jewelry), or otherwise mistreated. Small diameters and thin areas may be more susceptible to breakage.
Weights should never be worn in unhealed tissue and should always be used with caution. If tissue becomes irritated, remove the weight immediately and do not attempt to reuse it until the tissue has completely healed.
Some species of hardwoods that are not very dense and generally those areas that are lighter in color, may require occasional refinishing to keep them feeling smooth and performing their best. Wood forms the circulatory and support system in trees. The grain you may see running up and down in hardwood plugs is what the tree used to transport water. When the material gets wet, it may try to absorb the moisture, and the cells that form the grain can swell. This can make the material feel less smooth than when new. The material is sanded, then washed, then sanded again after it dries to take off any grain that is going to swell up when in contact with water. This process is repeated several times. However, with use, these cells may try to do their job again.
Hardwood should be periodically lightly sanded-especially maple and chakte kok; frequency depends on where and how often it is used, and how often it is in contact with moisture. Give hardwood some attention when it feels a bit rough. Sand gently with a dry piece of 400 to 600-grit sandpaper, then polish with a piece of cloth. The idea is to remove the swelled grain, not just push it down. Wrap the sandpaper around your finger or a pen to sand the inside of flared or drilled hardwood.
Wash with water and a mild non-chemical soap to eliminate any residue, and re-oil prior to use.
Let us know if you have any suggestions or comments. That's all . . . Enjoy!
We include a copy of these care instructions with each of our shipments.
This may be printed for personal use only, or to give to your customers along with our products if you are a business and have purchased from us. However, this must be kept entirely intact AND full credit must be given. This must include our business name: Organic LLC, and our telephone number: (503) 240-0260.
Erica personally wrote these instructions and has spent a lot of time and energy over the years refining them. They have been copied and pasted wholly or partially or heavily paraphrased many times into other sites and print literature without permission or credit. Not only is this unprofessional and rude, it is plagiarism. Please let us know when you see examples of this, and think hard before purchasing from companies that steal intellectual property. We take the issue of copyright infringement very seriously.